Who We Are

Our Founder, Board, and Staff
Meet Pastor Rob Harrell

Meet Pastor Rob Harrell

Pastor Rob Harrell has more than four decades’ experience leading ministry in the local church, national movements, and international organizations. He has guided organizations large and small at the highest levels, bringing his compassion and skill as a leader-of-leaders to a wide range of issues and experiences.

Rob started his ministry life in 1979 as the Student Ministry Pastor at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, and later took the same position at Westlake Bible Church (now Austin Ridge Bible Church) in Austin, Texas. In 1990, Rob answered God’s call to lead as Senior Pastor of the First Evangelical Free Church in Austin. Over the next 26 years, he guided FEFC’s growth into a multi-generational, multi-ethnic, disciple-making church where many were “transformed to transform their world.” He shepherded this large church through a number of major transitions including relocation, a name change to Austin Oaks Church, and traumatic loss. Through these challenges, he invested in a fleet of younger pastors serving on his staff, many of whom have now lead their own congregations around the country. During this time, national and international organizations have sought Rob’s expertise and mentoring.

In January 2017, Rob transitioned into the role of Pastor Emeritus of Austin Oaks Church, turning his full attention to serving the body of Christ globally. He continues to mentor faith leaders and business leaders as they seek to leave a legacy for God’s kingdom that lasts. He also serves on the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) Board of Directors and is presently the Moderator of the EFCA, as well as offering his leadership to many other organizations.

Rob received a B.S. degree in Psychology/Sociology from the University of Utah, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. Rob lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Kathy. They have two grown children, Kylie and Stephen, their “answer to prayer” spouses Laure and Chris, and a grandson Jack.

Board of Directors

Bob Kuhlman

Stuart Nolley

Randy Schoenborn

John Tarbox


Eliza Bushn, Program Management Director

Kat Cannon, Communications and Media